The Phony Campaign

2019-12-08 Update

The big odds-improver this week is Our President Donald J. Bone Spurs, whose winning probability improved by 3 percentage points.

Biggest loser: Pete Buttigieg, losing nearly 2 percentage points. And Senator Liz continues to droop among the oddsmakers. Will she rebound next week? Ever? Stay tuned.

And we say farewell, for now, to the plucky Andrew Yang who dipped ever-so-slightly below our 2% inclusion threshold. But maybe he'll be back at some point. I am not one to pigeonhole people by their genes, but our current lineup is pretty pale.

The Google seems to have decided that Mayor Pete is not that phony after all, and after a few weeks with a solid lead, he lost over 70% of his phony hits over the past seven days. And now POTUS is in front once again. (AKA, "His rightful place".)

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 44.8% +3.0% 1,970,000 -10,000
Pete Buttigieg 8.3% -1.8% 1,770,000 -4,350,000
Hillary Clinton 2.5% -0.2% 840,000 -52,000
Bernie Sanders 8.5% +0.7% 592,000 -71,000
Joe Biden 11.8% -0.2% 449,000 -7,000
Elizabeth Warren 7.3% -0.2% 288,000 -56,000
Michael Bloomberg 5.1% +0.2% 132,000 -26,000

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • Hot Air excerpts a WaPo column by Marc A. Thiessen, who is honest about candidate dishonesty: Biden and Buttigieg say you can keep your health-care plan. They’re lying — just like Obama..

    Biden’s case for the public option uses almost the very same words that Obama used when he lied to the American people a decade earlier: “If you like your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it,” he says. In a new ad, Buttigieg also channels his inner Obama, declaring “If you prefer a public plan like Medicare, like I think most Americans will, you can choose it. But if you prefer to keep your private insurance, you can.”

    Just like Obama’s false promise 10 years ago, the Biden-Buttigieg promise that you can keep your plan is a lie. As Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has explained, “the public option is a Trojan horse with single-payer hiding inside.” Verma points out that private insurance pays hospitals 75 percent more than Medicare for the same services. In 2017, for example, Medicare underpaid hospitals by $54 billion. They make up the lost revenue by charging private insurers more — which means private plans are essentially subsidizing Medicare for seniors.

    Put that old Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again" on the Victrola and… get depressed, because it's clear the American voting public wants to get fooled again. That's what the polls say, anyway.

  • Speaking of polls, PJ Media's Tyler O'Neil reports on a poll that showing that some voters are not only willing to be Fooled Again, they're also eager to embrace their inner Xi Jinping: Fans of Bernie Sanders and Warren Want Speech Bans With Jail Time.

    When asked, "Should federal or state governments ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist," most likely voters (50 percent) said "no," while 27 percent said "yes," and 24 percent said they were "not sure."

    Yet a full 51 percent of likely voters who said they have a "very favorable" view of Bernie Sanders said governments should ban "offensive" speech. Thirty-six percent of those with a "somewhat favorable" view of Sanders agreed. Similarly, 49 percent of those who had a "very favorable" view of Elizabeth Warren also supported speech bans, as did 37 percent of those with a "somewhat favorable" view of her.

    If a likely voter said he or she would support such a speech ban, the pollsters asked him or her, "Should those who violate such bans against offensive speech be punished with jail time?" Of the 27 percent of voters who supported speech bans, 48 percent said people who violate these bans should be punished with jail time.

    🙄 Good luck, America.

  • Do you need any more mood deflators? Well, here you go. At National Review, Kyle Smith reports: Hillary Is Still Thinking about Running in 2020.

    Yet the only people who want Hillary to run are comics, Republicans, Republican comics . . . . people like me. Democrats realize she blew it. Democratic fundraisers are furious with her for being such a poor candidate that she created the Trump presidency. There was an open path to the White House, she had a huge fundraising advantage, she had only token opposition from a batty old socialist in the primary, she had Barack Obama’s blessing, and she lost against a total novice because people just can’t stand her. Her token opposition turned into the siege of Leningrad. Her convention speech underwhelmed. She did not and indeed could not explain the clandestine means she set up for removing her communications from public scrutiny, committing the felony of taking classified information out of secure channels in the process. She did not and indeed could not offer a better rationale for her candidacy than a combination of “I deserve this” and “Trump is worse.”

    See the table above: some people betting their own money think she has a better shot of winning than do Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and whoever else is still in.

    I think there's no chance. But you know who else I thought had no chance of being president? Right up until the early morning of November 9, 2016?


  • Corey A. DeAngelis is director of school choice at Reason Foundation, which makes him a good choice to look at Elizabeth Warren’s School Choice Blunder.

    Elizabeth Warren came out swinging against school choice when she released her education plan on October 21. The Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate called for ending federal funding for public charter schools, banning for-profit charter schools, increasing regulations for all charter schools, and making it more difficult to start new charter schools. She also said she wanted to stop private school choice programs.

    Warren then started tweeting that she was "#PublicSchoolProud" and that "we must stop the privatization of public schools." She also bragged about how she attended and taught at public schools.

    But the senator remained silent about where she sent her children to school. She'd been silent on the subject for a while, in fact, having failed to respond when Education Week asked where her children went to school. If Warren was so loud and proud about public schools, wouldn't she be more than happy to tell everyone that she sent her two kids, Alex and Amelia, to public schools? Of course she would.

    Unless, that is, she had the privilege to send her own kids to private schools while fighting against extending similar options to the less fortunate.

    … which is exactly the case, as Cory discovered.

  • Another one of Senator Liz's Big Ideas: Warren Plans to End Electoral College by 2024 (as reported by the Washington Free Beacon).

    Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said she plans to be the last person elected president by the Electoral College.

    "I want to get rid of it," Warren said during an Iowa campaign event on Sunday. "So here's my goal: my goal is to get elected and then to be the last American president elected by the Electoral College. I want the second term to be that I got elected by direct vote."

    As I never tire of pointing out, Pun Salad tries to follow the Elvis Costello advice: "I used to be disgusted, Now I try to be amused." But Liz makes it hard.

    1. Getting rid of the Electoral College would require a Constitutional amendment.
    2. The President's involvement in the amendment process: none whatsoever.
    3. Liz would have much more clout into the amendment process if she remained a senator.
    4. Which is probably what will happen, but
    5. I would bet she'll find other things to do.

  • As befits its proud status as a progressive rag, Wired magazine reports this with a straight face: Bernie Sanders Says Internet Service Should be a Human Right.

    In August, presidential candidate and senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) proposed spending $85 billion to expand high-speed internet access in rural America and other underserved communities. Senator and rival presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) thinks that's not enough. Friday, he offered his own $150 billion broadband plan that goes far beyond connecting rural communities to the internet.

    Sanders wants to break up large media and telecommunications giants, force companies to make internet services more accessible to people with disabilities, and regulate broadband prices to ensure affordability. He says he will treat internet service as a human right.

    Bernie believes in one overall right: the right of the state to tell people what products and services they may buy and sell, at whatever price it decrees.

  • At Reason, Matt Welch reports on Michael Bloomberg and the Imperious Presidency.

    If Donald Trump could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it, what bit of brazenness might we expect from his fellow septuagenarian Manhattanite presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg?

    The then-mayoral candidate gave us a glimpse back in 2001, when he was dumping his first tranche of $74 million into a late-in-life political career and a reporter asked him whether he had ever smoked marijuana. "You bet I did," the media mogul enthused, at a time when politicians tended to be much more reticent about such things. "And I enjoyed it."

    Talk about do as I say, not as I did. During Bloomberg's three terms as mayor, the Big Apple became the marijuana arrest capital of the world, thanks to the notorious stop-and-frisk searches in neighborhoods where billionaires rarely venture.

    Bottom line: if you loved Trump's exercises of arbitrary power, you'll love… well, you probably won't love it when President Bloomberg does the same. But you won't have a lot of standing to complain.